Republican Congressional Candidate Erika Harold Invites Representative Rodney Davis to Participate in a Series of Debates
Urbana, IL – Republican Congressional Candidate Erika Harold sent Representative Rodney Davis a letter today inviting him to participate in a series of debates, with at least one debate to be held in each of the fourteen counties comprising the 13th Congressional District.
“Republican primary voters have been requesting a series of debates,” Harold said. “Voters deserve this opportunity to hear from and compare those who seek to represent them. Accordingly, I commit to participating in a debate in each of the fourteen counties.”
Harold requested a response to the proposal no later than November 19, 2013, so that both campaigns would have sufficient time to coordinate the necessary logistics.
“Primary elections have the potential to energize voters by engaging them on the critical issues confronting our district and country,” Harold wrote in the letter. “Let us commit to engaging voters of the 13th District and providing them with a series of informative and spirited debates.”
The text of the letter sent to Representative Davis is included below:
November 5, 2013
VIA EMAIL AND FIRST CLASS MAIL
Representative Rodney L. Davis
C/o Rodney for Congress
P.O. Box 344
Taylorville, IL 62568-0344
Re: Debate Schedule
Dear Representative Davis,
Republican primary voters have been requesting a series of debates. It has been suggested that a series of 14 debates, with at least one debate to be held in each of the fourteen counties comprising the 13th Congressional District, would afford voters the best opportunity to compare our views on the issues of greatest importance to them. Voters deserve this opportunity. Accordingly, I commit to participating in a debate in each of the fourteen counties.
Please inform me of your response to this proposal no later than November 19, 2013, so that both campaigns will have sufficient time to coordinate the necessary logistics. Media entities already have begun reaching out to our campaign to offer to host debates in their respective areas.
Primary elections have the potential to energize voters by engaging them on the critical issues confronting our district and country. Let us commit to engaging voters of the 13th District and providing them with a series of informative and spirited debates.
Erika N.L. Harold
Schock Grills Administration on Failed
Promise that Illinoisans Could Keep
their Health Care Plan
REALITY CHECK: Shares Emotional Story of Constituent Losing Her Current Health Care Plan; Sees Rates Nearly Double
Washington, DC – Today, (Tuesday) Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) participated in the House Ways and Means full committee hearing on the status of the Affordable Care Act’s implementation. The administration witness at the hearing was Marilyn Tavenner, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). CMS is the federal agency that oversees the operation of the Exchanges through the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO).
During the hearing, Schock directly challenged the promise made by the Obama Administration that “if you like your plan, you can keep it.” It is now being reported that millions of individuals throughout the country will not be able to keep their current health care plan even if they like it, directly contradicting the promises made by President Obama and his administration. Schock read aloud an emotional story of an individual in the 18th district who received her notice in the mail that she would not be able to keep her current health care plan and would see her rate nearly double, because her plan has been deemed ineligible by the Affordable Care Act.
During a White House press conference, Press Secretary Jay Carney denied this allegation took place:
QUESTION: Just to follow up on that. In terms of the president talking to Republicans, can you rule out -- there was the number two Senate Democrat, Dick Durbin, said on his Facebook page that someone in recent exchange with the president said he can't even stand, this member of Congress, that he can't even stand to look at the president. Can you say whether that happened?
JAY CARNEY: I will say this, I spoke with somebody who was in that meeting and it did not happen.
Paul G. Chiligiris Declares Candidacy for
Macon County Circuit Judge
Paul Chiligiris has announced his Democratic candidacy for Macon County Circuit Judge. Chiligiris, 47, seeks election to the judicial seat which will open upon Judge Katherine “Kitty” McCarthy’s retirement at the end of 2014.
“As a trial lawyer for more than 20 years, I feel that it is time to serve my community as a Judge in the Macon County Courts,” Chiligiris said. “I have a broad base of practical trial experience including civil, prosecutorial, criminal and juvenile law. This position is an ideal fit, as Judge McCarthy is the presiding family law judge and family law has been a main focus of my practice.”
Chiligiris has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and law degree from St. Louis University. He and wife Amy have two children. He has worked on the boards of several area charitable organizations and currently is president of Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church and is an Archon in the Order of St. Andrew, the highest honor given to a layperson in the Greek Orthodox Church.
Chiligiris is a third-generation Decatur resident whose family has owned businesses in Decatur since the early 1900s. His father, the late Dr. George A. Chiligiris, was pediatrician to generations of Decatur children and mother Martha worked as a strings teacher for the Decatur Public Schools’ music programs. Serving on Chiligiris’ campaign committee are local attorneys Andrew Weatherford and Andrew P. Chiligiris as well as local businessman William C. Kefalas.
Gollin Campaign Releases Robust Fundraising Report, Competitive Poll Results
Over $260K Cash on Hand; No Poll Difference Between Gollin and Callis vs. Davis
CHAMPAIGN, October 14 – Democratic Congressional candidate Dr. George Gollin released his first campaign finance report today, reporting over $300,000 in receipts and $262,000 cash on hand as of September 30th.
The campaign also released the results of a poll taken last week by Public Policy Polling that shows both Gollin and the other major Democratic candidate, Ann Callis, with statistically identical results against incumbent Republican Rodney Davis. Gollin trailed Davis 41%-33% while Callis trailed by 40%-35%. A quarter of the voters in each matchup were undecided, and only 28% of voters said they were “certain” to vote for Davis. The margin of error in the poll was 3.6%.
Gollin campaign manager Monica Biddix said “Obviously, these are terrific results for Dr. Gollin’s campaign. The political insiders have been selling the idea that only Ms. Callis could compete against Rodney Davis, and that’s clearly not true. We have said from the start that this is not the year for incumbents or insiders.”
Because of the government shutdown, campaign finance reports may not be viewable at the FEC website. For that reason, the campaign has also posted their report at www.georgegollin.com.
Mitchell reappointed to Illinois House Republican Leadership
Springfield, IL – State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) has been reappointed to the position of Assistant Republican Leader for the Illinois House of Representatives.
Mitchell’s reappointment was announced on Thursday by incoming House Republican Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs).
“Bill Mitchell is a strong voice for downstate Illinois,” Leader Durkin said. “He brings a commonsense perspective that is much needed in the General Assembly. I am confident Bill will serve the people well as a member of our new House Republican Leadership Team.”
“I want to thank Leader Durkin for putting his trust in me to help lead our caucus,” Mitchell said. “I’ve been friends with Jim for a long time. He is no stranger to central Illinois. He’s a good leader and I’m excited because our caucus is more united under Jim’s leadership than I’ve ever seen.”
Mitchell has served in the Illinois House since 1999. He previously served on the Decatur City Council and was Decatur Mayor Pro Tem from 1997-1998.
Mitchell has been a leader on the issue of job creation. In the 96th General Assembly, he served as the Republican Spokesman for the House Bipartisan Job Creation Task Force. He previously served as Chairman of the House Republican Task Force on Rural Economic Development.
Mitchell represents the 101st House District, which includes all or portions of Champaign, DeWitt, Macon, McLean and Piatt counties.
Illinois Taxpayers Overpaid Chicago Schools By $235 Million
Central Illinois Lawmakers Sponsor Reform Package To Hold Chicago Accountable
In response to recent revelations that Illinois taxpayers overpaid Chicago Public Schools by $235 million in block grant funds for the 2011-2012 school year, two Central Illinois lawmakers are sponsoring a reform package to hold Chicago accountable and prohibit such an overpayment in the future.
State Representatives Adam Brown (R-Champaign) and Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) are co-sponsoring legislation that would repeal the preferential block grant funding for Chicago Public Schools (CPS) and require CPS to submit claims for reimbursement of special education costs just like the other 859 school districts throughout Illinois are required to do.
“For nearly two decades now, Chicago has been taking their cut of education funding off the top in the form of block grants,” Rep. Brown said. “Now we find out that Illinois taxpayers overpaid CPS by nearly $235 million in one year alone. Our legislation will level the playing field, hold Chicago accountable for the taxpayer funds it receives and put a stop to CPS’ preferential treatment.”
According to Brown and Mitchell, the root of the problem can be traced to a lack of accountability with how grant money is sent to CPS and a failure within CPS to comply with reporting mandates required within the Illinois School Code. Whereas every other public school district in the state gets reimbursed for services delivered, current law allows CPS to receive their block grant money up front.
For the last 18 years, CPS was not obligated to report Block Grant spending, which made it very difficult for the State Board of Education to track the efficiency of how CPS was spending the money. Two years ago the General Assembly ordered CPS to begin reporting grant expenditures, but CPS failed to comply with reporting mandates. It was only recently that the report was received and the discrepancy was discovered.
“Once again, Chicago gets a huge piece of the pie and Downstate is left with crumbs,” Rep. Mitchell said. “When the Chicago politicians talk about forcing us to ‘pay our fair share,’ they neglect to mention that we’ve overpaid Chicago schools by hundreds of millions of dollars. Add to that the fact that Chicago hides billions in property value within TIF districts, which allows them to get even more state funds, and it becomes clear that we need to fundamentally reform this blatantly unfair system.”
According to the Illinois Policy Institute, a loophole allows school districts statewide to hide more than $18 billion in property value located in special economic zones called tax increment financing, or TIF, districts. Chicago excludes the most – it does not report more than $10 billion of property located within TIFs. Suburban Cook and its collar counties exclude more than $5 billion. Due to the complexity of the State’s education funding formula, hiding property wealth results in additional state money.
Representatives Brown and Mitchell believe Chicago receives more state education dollars than it should due to changes in student population and other demographics. Overall enrollment in CPS has declined 6 percent in the last 14 years. Nearly 30 percent of special education funding is earmarked to CPS, which only has 16 percent of the special education student population in the state. Much of this disparity is due to an outdated 1995 law, which states that CPS cannot receive less special education funding than it did in 1995.
The lawmakers’ CPS accountability and reform package includes:
HB 3690 - Make CPS Funding Requirement Procedures the Same as All Other School Districts
Repealing the preset allocation that CPS receives in Block Grants would require them to submit claims for spending to the State Board of Education, thus mirroring the requirements of every other district in the state.
HB 3691 – Make CPS Submit Claims for Special Education Funding
Removing special education services from the Chicago Block Grant would require the district to submit claims for annual reimbursement just like every other school district in Illinois. CPS received $222.8 million more for Special Education than actual claims in 2011-2012.
HB 3692 – Hold CPS Accountable for Refusal to Submit Claims in a Timely Manner
This proposal would withhold all federal and state funding due to CPS in the event that the district does not comply with the reporting procedures outlined in PA 97-238, which created the reporting requirements for Block Grant funding. Funding would be restored when compliance is achieved. CPS was not compliant with the disclosure requirement, forcing the State Superintendent of Education to threaten the withholding of funds and a designation of non-recognition status for the district.
Manar To Host Discussion On Education
Funding, Other State Issues In Decatur
State Senator Andy Manar (D–Bunker Hill) is hosting a discussion on education funding and other state issues on October 9 in Decatur as part of his “Capitol on your Corner” program.
The event is from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm October 9 at the Garfield Park at 1055 W Grand Ave in Decatur. Food and beverages will be provided.
Manar regularly hosts “Capitol on your Corner” events in communities across the 48th District to meet with constituents and answer questions about state government. But with concern over budget cuts to schools and Manar’s advisory committee currently reviewing school financing inequities, Manar anticipates the discussion at the October 9 event will focus on public education funding in Illinois.
“As the parent of three children in a small, downstate school district, I understand Decatur parents’ frustrations with funding cuts,” said Manar. “Funding public education is one of the most important responsibilities of state government, and we can do much better.”
Manar led the effort in the spring legislative session to create the Senate Advisory Committee on Education Funding (SR0431). The committee is tasked with conducting a comprehensive review of how K-12 education is funded in Illinois and make recommendations for improvement.
Mitchell Demands Answers From Quinn
Administration On Decatur IDES Office
After months of conflicting stories over the fate of Decatur’s recently-closed unemployment office, State Representative Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) is demanding answers from the Quinn Administration.
“Numerous constituents have contacted me regarding the recent closure of our local unemployment office,” Mitchell said. “For months now, we have been dealing with rumors of closure and now it appears folks seeking help finding jobs here in Decatur are being given a telephone number to call where nobody answers the phone. That is absolutely unacceptable!”
In June, it was revealed that the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES) was planning to close its Decatur workNet Center. Representative Mitchell and other local officials held a press conference outside the Decatur IDES office, urging the Department to keep the office open. IDES Director Jay Rowell sent a letter to area legislators stating that IDES would “work with area elected officials to find a location where IDES employment services staff will remain co-located with the local work force board in Decatur.”
“Decatur has the highest unemployment in the state,” Rep. Mitchell said. These are very tough times for many working families in our community. Unfortunately, the Quinn Administration has not been honest with us. Closing the Decatur unemployment office directly contradicts what the Department told us in June. Sadly, I am not surprised that the Quinn Administration failed to keep its word to Decatur families.”
Mitchell indicated that the Decatur workNet Center has assisted more than 28,000 job seekers in the past year and more than 160,000 job seekers over the past five years.
“We unfortunately have a lot of people in need of job assistance here in Decatur,” Mitchell said. “It appears that IDES wants to close local unemployment offices and force people to use their website for assistance. However, many families lack internet access in their homes and will have a difficult time accessing services without a local office to assist them.”
DCCC: Poll Shows Rep. Rodney Davis In
Big Trouble With Voters
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) has just released the results of a new survey from Public Policy Polling which it says makes it “clear that Congressman Rodney Davis’s support of the reckless government shutdown in order to defund the Affordable Care Act has increased his vulnerability for re-election.
“Voters are angry that Congressman Davis gave in to Tea Party demands and voted with Republicans in Congress to shut down the government.
• If the election were held today, Davis loses to a generic Democratic candidate 43 percent versus 44 percent. That gap grows to 44 percent to 39 percent among independent voters.
• 41 percent disapprove of the job Congressman Davis is doing in Congress versus 32 percent who approve.
• The Tea Party that Congressman Davis represents is viewed unfavorably by 49 percent of voters and only favorably by 38 percent.
• Voters oppose Congress “shutting down major activities of the federal government as a way to stop the health care law from being put in place” by 25 points: 34 percent to 59 percent.
“From national polling to local protests, it’s clear that voters are outraged over Congressman Davis and the Republican Congress’s choice to shut down the government in order to push their ideology and protect insurance company profits by dismantling the Affordable Care Act,” states the DCCC news release.
“Now, from this new polling, it’s clear voters want a change.
“PPP surveyed 685 voters between October 2nd and 4th in a poll sponsored by Moveon.org Political Action.”
Rep. Davis: House Votes to Provide
Certainty for Federal Workers
Washington, DC –U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) today released the following statement after the House unanimously approved H.R. 3223, The Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act, by a vote of 407-0.
"Today I was proud to stand with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to provide security and certainty to furloughed federal employees by ensuring that they will receive a paycheck once the shutdown ends," said Davis. "While we continue to look for a commonsense solution to end the shutdown, our action today was the right and fair thing to do for public sector employees and their families and I will continue to make sure we pay individuals, like the Capitol Police, who play such a vital but under-appreciated role in our government operations.
"I’m also proud to represent many of the hard working individuals who serve at Scott Air Force Base, whether they are Active Duty, civilian, reserve, guard or retired. And even though the House has already acted to ensure our Department of Defense employees and contractors can continue to work through the shutdown, the Administration has chosen to needlessly furlough many of them. Today we once again reiterated the need to pay these individuals."
|We Are One Illinois Statement on Governor Pat Quinn and the Proposed Archer Daniels Midland Tax Break|
|The statement below is attributable to Michael T. Carrigan, president of the Illinois-AFL CIO, on behalf of the We Are One Illinois union coalition:|
|“Governor Pat Quinn's position on the attempt by one of our state's most profitable corporations to get a handout from Illinois taxpayers is baffling, troubling, and wrong.|
|"The governor would take the life savings of teachers, police, and other public employees and retirees, only to turn that money later into corporate welfare. That's a win for one big corporation but a devastating loss for hundreds of thousands of middle-class families across Illinois, not to mention another blow to the state's fiscal condition.|
|"Illinois' corporate elite push for unfair, illegal cuts to modest pensions promised to public employees and retirees, yet have no problem asking for handouts to pad their own bottom lines and pay huge bonuses to CEOs. Our coalition stands firmly in favor of closing wasteful tax loopholes to get our state back on the right fiscal track.”|